The Switch Up
Today I got to know someone. I mean, I really got to know this person. Not how many sugars she puts in her coffee or anything like that
, but the fundamentals that brought about this custom made, one of one human being. There is so much more than meets the eye and famous phrases like, “read between the lines” suddenly seem richer, more vivid in their attempts to send a message.
I plan on sharing her story with you, but first I have to ask.
What would you do if you met the person you could have been and that person wasn’t staring back at you in the mirror?
Starting a business has many paths and alleys and like every individual, every venture has a persona, a bio, a unique fingerprint, but like every good stew, the beauty is in the sauce!
Meet Tsholo, a young entrepreneur that couldn’t take it anymore. She wanted more for herself and more for her City. It all started out with the adventures to Jo’Burg’s renowned foodmarkets. Your Neighbourgoods and Maboneng Precinct. Coming from Pretoria, this wonderful culture she was soon adopting was something she needed to travel to in order to experience. Growing in her love for food and community, she realised that all the ingredients she needed were in her own backyard.
She caught her much needed inspiration when she was looking at a poster on the wall, it was a poster of waffles and coke. What a muse, I never even considered the combination as a menu choice. It was here where the idea of TripSwitch was born.
Not knowing the ropes, she set on her way to bring this idea to life. After speaking to a few friends and finally conjuring up a spell for her first night market, disaster struck. The venue was a bust, her food vendors cancelled and quite frankly the market did not comply with the city regulations for hosting a public event. The dream became a nightmare.
Ready to weigh in for the title, it soon became evident that it was her against the world for her dream to come to life. A fight that would take everything and that had already started picking off things one by one. Faced with a major decision, Tsholo left her degree at Tuks to pursue TripSwitch. She then enrolled at UNISA where she would continue her education with the flexibility of time TripSwitch demanded. Not having the capital to finance it and knowing that there was no alternative to success, she started working at Harem night club. At the time, the stereotypes were still ripe in people’s minds, and not only was she fighting for her dream, she was fighting the taboo aura of being a club promoter.
Getting off the gautrain at 5am every Sunday morning, she marshaled on until she raised enough money to really get the ball rolling. It was on the 07/08/2015 where her and her team won their first battle, the first TripSwitch night market was hosted, in the humble parking lot of the Protea Bookstore, Hatfield, Pretoria.
The journey did not end here, it simply began! She knew that for her business to grow, she had to grow. Staying true to herself and focused on the goal, she began to read up on everything she could get her hands on. Staying informed and up to date with the world and people around her, she found her niche.
One thing that I picked up about her is how proud she is about being a Black Woman. Wearing that crown wherever she went, it was this that fueled her passion which stems from empowering and instilling pride in her fellow Africans. What better way to do it than bringing people together to enjoy something only true to Africa, African cuisine! The market boasts a multitude of clothing stores, artwork, live bands and food stalls that specialise in African cuisine and I must say, there is nothing like it!
Focused on creating a community and culture, TripSwitch was hosted on a monthly basis, running from June 2016 to November 2016 with the promise of many more to come. TripSwitch’s defining moment was when they hosted TripSwitch Heritage. It embodied the dream. Combining the highly delectable food and drinks with all the crafts, blended to make a magical cocktail that was orchestrated in a completely African themed market, truly and honestly created a vibe!
Desire and determination turned this dream-nightmare into something we can all see, detached from just her mind and implanted into so many more, proves that it really can be done.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur out there, the road will not be easy, you will have to do more than expected and then some. The world may love you one day and hate you for the next week but never forget why you started, never forget that when you do meet the person you could have been, he or she should be in the same outfit with the same smile and the same destination for that day.
I’ll leave you with a quote that resonates with her, “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick its ass!” – Maya Angelou
August is women’s month in South Africa, with that in mind, I sat down with SEDA Information Officer, Kate Masopha. Read and comment on her inspiring story as well as get your fill here on our latest post, The Body of Knowledge.